Andrea Zia

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The History of the English Language, Animated

The history of language, that peculiar human faculty that Darwin believed was half art and half instinct, is intricately intertwined with the evolution of our species, our capacity for invention, our understanding of human biology, and even the progress of our gender politics. From the fine folks …

20 Latin Phrases You Should Be Using

You’d probably be surprised by how much Latin you actually already know. Hundreds of words—like <i>memo</i>, <i>alibi</i>, <i>agenda</i>, <i>census</i>, <i>veto</i>, <i>alias</i>, <i>via</i>, <i>alumni</i>,</i> …

Language

Why is English Spelling So Messed Up?

If you're a kid learning how to write, or an adult speaker of a language with sensible spelling, English spelling can seem like a cruel prank. And …

How to Avoid a Common Comma Error: The Comma Splice

And why sometimes, it’s not even an error.<p>A reader on Twitter who goes by @cbee asked me to do a show about comma splices. She says they’re …

Linguistics